# Concepts of Robot Programming 341

"Concepts of Robot Programming" introduces the methods that engineers use to train robots to perform manufacturing tasks and the ideas behind those methods. Programming methods include online programming, where robots remain active during programming, and offline programming, where programming occurs independently of robots. Ideas behind robot programming methods include coordinate systems and control programs.

Robots are increasingly used in manufacturing operations to perform tasks with great speed and accuracy. Having engineers who understand how to program robots will allow manufacturers to improve the productivity, quality, and safety of a number of different manufacturing operations, including welding, assembling, and packaging. After taking this course, users will understand the ideas behind robot programming and know the basics of the most commonly used programming methods, such as teach-pendant programming and simulations.

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## Class Details

Class Name:
Concepts of Robot Programming 341
Difficulty:
Number of Lessons:
18

## Class Outline

• Introduction to Robot Programming
• Online and Offline Programming
• Robot Coordinate Systems and Axes
• Programming Language
• Concepts of Robot Programming Basics Review
• Teach-Pendant Programming
• Teach-Pendant Programming Operation
• Walk-Through Programming
• Online Programming Review
• Offline Programming
• Writing Control Programs
• Simulators
• Robot Simulation in Action
• Types of Robot Programming

## Objectives

• Describe robot programming.
• Describe online and offline programming.
• Describe robot coordinate systems and axes.
• Describe programming language and how it relates to robotics.
• Describe teach-pendant programming.
• Describe the steps in teach-pendant programming.
• Describe walk-through programming.
• Describe offline programming.
• Describe writing control programs for robots.
• Describe robot simulators.
• Describe the process of programming using a robot simulator.

## Glossary

Vocabulary Term Definition
3D Three-dimensional. Having height, width, and depth. 3D simulations can approximate all movements made in the real world.
a axis The rotational axis around the x axis. The a axis is one of three rotational axes and allows for more complex machine movement.
adaptive control The ability of a mechanical device to make automatic adjustments to external stimuli. Adaptive control allows robots to handle changes in the environment without operator intervention.
assembly The process of connecting a series of different components to create a finished part. Assembly is used to create everything from circuit boards to cars.
auto mode A robot setting where the operator is able to select a program that the robot will run independently. Auto mode, or run mode, is the setting for robots that are actively in manufacturing production.
automated Performed without human intervention or involvement. Automated manufacturing systems make use of computers to control various machine tools and manufacturing components.
axes An imaginary line or circle that is used to define the position of an object in space. The linear axes are, by convention, x, y, and z, and the circular, or rotational, axes are often designated by other letters of the alphabet, for example a, b, and c.
azimuth φ. A horizontal angle measuring the space between a fixed axis and the location of the radial distance. The azimuth is one of the reference measurements in the cylindrical coordinate system.
b axis The rotational axis around the y axis. The b axis is one of three rotational axes and allows for more complex machine movement.
base coordinate system A positioning system where the origin is set at the base of a robot. The base coordinate system is particularly useful for precisely adjusting the position of a floor-mounted unit since the base position is physically fixed.
c axis The rotational axis around the z axis. The c axis is one of three rotational axes and allows for more complex machine movement.
C programming language A standardized, static, general-purpose programming language that is used to program robots. C programming language used with robots is called ROBOTC.
Cartesian coordinate system A positioning method that uses three linear axes perpendicular to each other to describe the location of an object in three-dimensional space. The three linear axes in the Cartesian coordinate system are the x axis, y axis, and z axis.
code A collection of commands for a computer or computerized system. Code is used in robotics to instruct the robot how to move, among other actions, such as when to open or close a gripper or how to integrate a sensor.
computer-aided design CAD. Computer software used to create 3D part or manufacturing component models. Computer-aided design is most often used to create part models for production, but it can also be used to create 3D components for robotic simulations.
computer-aided manufacturing CAM. Computer software used to optimize a part-creation operation. Computer-aided manufacturing is particularly used to help optimize the paths of machine components in a manufacturing operation.
control panel A device, often consisting of a series of buttons and dials, that engineers and operators use to enter information into a robot's machine interface. Control panels allow for precise and sequential robot control and sometimes include buttons that tell the robot to perform common actions, such as moving in a straight line or opening and closing a gripper.
control program A set of symbols and rules used to represent information and directions to a control device so that it can apply instructions. Control programs for robots or control systems are created in all forms of robot programming, though usually through the use of a tool such as a teach pendant or simulator.
conveyor belts A moving strip of material that carries parts or other components from one area of a manufacturing facility to another. Conveyor belts are commonly used to transport parts from production to packaging.
cylindrical coordinate system A positioning system that determines the placement of a point within a cylindrical envelope based on its relationship to the radial distance (p), the azimuth (φ), and the height, or longitudinal axis, (z). The cylindrical coordinate system is most often used when programming Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arm robots (SCARA robots).
deadman switches A device that operators must depress in order to run a machine. Deadman switches automatically stop a machine when the deadman switch is not depressed, and they are usually operated using one or two hands but can also be operated by foot.
degrees of freedom The six degrees of freedom, when associated with a robot, refer to its ability to move in three linear axes (x, y, and z) and rotate perpendicular to each of those three linear axes. Robots can have up to six degrees of freedom, which allow for axial and rotational movement.
displacement coordinate system A positioning system where the origin can be shifted to another point while maintaining the same movement information from the previous origin. The displacement coordinate system is useful when the robot will repeat a set of movements in a variety of base datum, or origin, positions.
disturbances Any unwanted change or variation in a manufacturing environment. Disturbances include debris, shifting components, and operator error.
downtime The period during which a machine component is inactive. Downtime reduces the efficiency of a manufacturing operation and should always be limited as much as possible.
drilling A holemaking process in which a rotating cutter makes a round hole into the workpiece to a certain depth. Drilling is often performed by a robot or other automated device.
emergency stop E-stop. A button or switch that brings a robot to a safe, rapid stop. Emergency stop buttons are usually large red buttons with a yellow circle around them.
end effector The component of the robot that interacts with a part or object. End effectors perform the actual task the robot is designed to perform, such as welding, moving parts, assembling, or sensing.
fabrication A process that involves joining components or materials together. Fabrication processes include riveting, fastening, gluing, and soldering.
floor-mounted Secured directly to the floor. A floor-mounted robot is the most stable robot configuration.
glass-bead peening A cold-working method where glass beads are shot at the surface of a workpiece at a high velocity. Glass-bead peening increases the fatigue strength and stress-crack corrosion resistance of a workpiece's surface.
gripper A dexterous material-handling component that resembles and performs similarly to a human hand. Grippers allow robots to perform complex tasks, such as handling small parts or assembling components precisely.
grit blasting A surface conditioning process where a fine abrasive material is forced through a nozzle with compressed air and aimed at the surface of a workpiece. Grit blasting, sometimes called sand blasting, is used to clean surfaces that show corrosion or have unwanted coatings or paint, in preparation for a subsequent process.
inertia forces A force that is resistant to any change in speed and movement. Inertia forces make it challenging to quickly reverse or change direction of motion.
jogging Moving a machine in small, precise distances. Jogging allows an operator to position a robot carefully and exactly.
joint A connecting component on a robot that can move through an angle about a center point. Joints on a robot mimic the movement of human joints, such as a wrist or elbow, with ability to rotate.
joint mode A mode of robot operation in teach-pendant programming where operators directly control the axes of the robot. Joint mode allows for very precise positioning of the robot but requires more operator skill.
kinematics The science of motion without regard to the forces that cause motion. Kinematics is the relationship between the positions, velocities, and accelerations of the links of the components of a robot, where the components might be an arm, the finger of a gripper, or even a base, should the robot be mounted on a moving track.
lead-through programming A robot programming operation where engineers or operators physically take a robot through the steps of a manufacturing operation. Lead-through programming, or walk-through programming, is a type of online programming.
linear A term describing movement in a straight line along a single axis. Linear movement of an object is described by the x, y, and z axes.
lockout/tag-out A series of devices used to warn engineers or operators of safety hazards and, in the case of unauthorized personnel, physically prevent them from accidentally energizing a system while in dangerous areas of a machine or within a robot's space. Lockout/tag-out devices include padlocks, switch guards, and brightly colored warning labels.
longitudinal axis z. A vertical line in a coordinate system. The longitudinal axis represents the centerline of the cylinder in the cylindrical coordinate system.
machine interface The input device on a machine that engineers and operators use to interact with the machine's control system. The machine interface may be complex, such as a computer touchscreen, or simple, such as a control panel with just a few buttons.
manual mode A robot setting where an operator is able to control the robot's movements and save those movements as an operating program. Manual mode, or teach mode, is used in online programming.
material handling The process of loading, unloading, placing, or manipulating objects or materials. Types of material handling include machine tending, part transfer, packaging, and palletizing.
mobile robots An automated machine that can move around space and perform a task without operator intervention. Mobile robots, sometimes called automated guided vehicles (AGVs), include tow vehicles, unit load carriers, and cart vehicles, among others.
offline programming A method of robot instruction where a programmer or computer engineer creates the instructions for a robotic operation independently of the robot. Offline programming involves either writing all the instructions for an operation or using a computer simulation.
online programming A method of creating instructions for a robot where the engineer interacts directly with an active robot during the process. Online programming includes teach-pendant programming and walk-through, or lead-through, programming.
origin The central point in a coordinate system. The origin has a numerical value of zero in programming language.
path The route taken by a robot to travel from one location to another. Common robot paths include point-to-point and continuous paths.
pick-and-place Applications that require robots to move parts from one location to another. Pick-and-place robots improve the precision, quality, and speed of manufacturing operations.
point-to-point path A type of movement instruction where the robot automatically generates most of its direction of travel. Point-to-point paths only require operators to add intermittent points of movement while the robot automatically generates the rest.
polishing An abrasive finishing process used to improve the surface of a part. Polishing results in a smooth, shiny surface.
programming The process of entering digital information into a computer or computerized system. Programming involves the use of a machine interface and a programming language that can tell the machine what actions to perform.
programming language A specific set of communication rules used to dictate instructions to a robot. Programming languages for robots include Robot Automatix Incorporated Language (RAIL), A Manufacturing Language (AML), and Artificial Language (AL), among many others.
proprietary languages A programming language that has been developed by a manufacturer for use exclusively with its own brand of robots. Over 100 proprietary languages exist for offline programming.
radial distance p. The distance between the origin and another point in the cylindrical coordinate system. The radial distance is one of the reference measurements in the cylindrical coordinate system.
remote control A device used to direct the movements of a robot or other machine tool at a distance. Remote controls can be used in teach-pendant programming.
robots A machine, often with articulated joints and gripping capabilities, that can be programmed to precisely perform a variety of complicated, repetitive tasks. Robots are used to assemble parts, weld joints, and position components, among many other manufacturing tasks.
rotational A term describing movement in a circular path around an axis. Rotational movement of an object is described by the a, b, and c axes.
run mode A robot setting where the operator is able to select a program that the robot will run independently. Run mode, or auto mode, is the setting for robots that are actively in manufacturing production.
scanned Turned into digital information. Real-world objects can be scanned so that 3D computer models of the objects can be used in computer software, such as robot simulations.
Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arm robots SCARA robots. A type of robot with a cylindrical robotic arm that only rotates around its longitudinal axis. Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arm robots have incredibly fast speed and high rigidity, making them ideal for the fast and precise soldering of semiconductor chips, as well as material handling and assembly.
sensors A device that detects the presence or absence of an object, or specific properties of that object, and provides feedback to the robot control system. Sensors allow robots to interact with their environment.
shot blasting A surface conditioning process where small spheres of a hard material, usually steel, are forced through a nozzle using compressed air at the surface of a workpiece. Shot blasting, like grit blasting, is used to prepare the surface of a workpiece for another process, such as painting.
simulation A computer creation of a virtual space and activity. Simulations allow engineers to create control programs for a robot by maneuvering a computer-generated virtual version of that robot through a computer-generated virtual version of an operation.
simulation A computer re-creation of a physical space and activity. Simulations allow engineers to walk a three-dimensional model of a robot through a computerized version of an operation and record the robot movements to upload to the physical robot.
simulator The computer program that generates the three-dimensional models of the robot, parts, and manufacturing environment. Simulators also record the desired robot movements, creating control programs that can be uploaded to the robot's machine interface.
software The coded instructions or programs that control computer hardware functions and operations. Software allows operators to perform a specific function on a computer, such as creating 3D part models or running robot simulations.
standardized Universally recognized and used. Standardized programming languages were used with robots when robotic programming was first developed.
teach handle A detachable device that allows operators to move a robot more easily in walk-through programming. Teach handles allow operators to move the entire robot by guiding it from the end effector.
teach mode A robot setting where an engineer or operator is able to control the robot's movements and save those movements as an operating program. Teach mode, or manual mode, is used in online programming.
teach pendant A hand-held device that can be used to program a robot or control its movements. Teach pendants are used in teach-pendant programming.
teach-pendant programming A robot programming operation where engineers or operators take a robot through a process using a remote control or other machine interface. Teach-pendant programming is a type of online programming.
three-dimensional 3D. Having height, width, and depth. Three-dimensional simulations can approximate all movements made in the real world.
T-joint A weld that joins two or more objects together to create two right angles. T-joints are named because they resemble the letter "T."
tool center point frame TCPF. A positioning system where the origin is set at a fixed point on the end effector. In the tool center point frame, also called the tool coordinate system, the Cartesian coordinates change orientation as the tool rotates on any of the a, b, or c axes.
tool coordinate system A positioning system where the origin is set at a fixed point on the end effector. In the tool coordinate system, also called the tool center point frame (TCPF), the Cartesian coordinates change orientation as the tool rotates on any of the a, b, or c axes.
tool mode A mode of robot operation in teach-pendant programming where operators directly control the end effector of the robot. Tool mode allows for very precise positioning of the end effector but requires more operator skill.
troubleshooting An organized protocol for finding the cause of and solution to a manufacturing problem. Troubleshooting often involves a logical process of elimination to identify the root cause of a problem.
upload To transfer information from one digital or computerized device to another. Operators upload programming language they have written or generated from a simulator to a robot to complete offline programming.
user coordinate system A positioning system where the origin is set by the user. The user coordinate system usually refers to a system where the origin is set to the work table or other workholding device.
walk-through programming A robot programming operation where engineers or operators physically take a robot through the steps of a manufacturing operation. Walk-through programming, also known as lead-through programming, is a type of online programming.
walk-through programming A robot programming operation where engineers or operators physically take a robot through the steps of a manufacturing operation. Walk-through programming, or lead-through programming, is a type of online programming.
welding A joining process that permanently bonds two or more separate components. Welding can use heat or pressure and is often performed by industrial robots.
welding torch The device that holds the electrode in welding and delivers shielding gas to the weld area. Welding torches generate the heat that melts the materials that will be joined.
work envelope The defined area through which a robot can move. The work envelope, or work cell, is generally enclosed by a cage or guard fence and defines the area that operators should remain outside in order to be safe during active production.
work-object coordinate system A positioning system where the origin is set to a point on the part on which the robot is working. The work-object coordinate system is most useful in cases where the part might be moved during a manufacturing operation, for example flipping the part so it can be welded on both sides.
workpiece A part that is subjected to one or more manufacturing procedures, such as welding, drilling, or painting. Workpieces are shaped into a finished part that can be used by customers.
world coordinate system A positioning system where the origin is set to some fixed point in the manufacturing area. The world coordinate system facilitates programming two or more robots that must work together.
x axis The linear axis representing side-to-side movement of a robot relative to the origin. The x axis, along with the y axis, is one of the two horizontal axes in the Cartesian coordinate system that together make up the x-y plane.
XY mode A mode of robot operation in teach-pendant programming where operators adjust robot movement within a base coordinate system. XY mode is simple to use but less precise than other modes.
y axis The linear axis representing back-and-forth movement of a robot relative to the origin. The y axis, along with the x axis, is one of the two horizontal axes in the Cartesian coordinate system that together make up the x-y plane.
z axis The linear axis that represents the up-and-down motion of a robot relative to the origin. The z axis is the only vertical axis in the Cartesian coordinate system.